A little over 2 hours from now, the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will beam live to millions viewers around the world sparking off a 16 day feast of sporting goodness. However if you are hoping to be able to watch the games online from your PC or mobile device, then you may find that depending on where you live may well restricts what you get to see. The games started yesterday and will come to a close on 23rd February.
In the US for example NBC along with CNBC, MSNBC, the NBC Sports Network and NBCOlympics.com, will be covering the games staring from tomorrow which means that their viewers will not be able to watch the opening ceremony. According to ChristianPost Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group has attempted to explain the decision not to offer live coverage of the Opening Ceremony, saying: “We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves.” Strange way of saying that they won’t actually be airing it live like the rest of the world, but instead just showing highlights after the event. Sounds like NBC’s coverage of the Winter Games is going down the same route as their coverage of the summer games in 2013, although for NBC viewers, I hope that things will be different this year. That was complete disaster leading to many viewers opting to find alternative broadcasts elsewhere like the BBC. For those wishing to watch NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, see their listing page here.
However, Canadian viewers are luckier in the fact that CBC are streaming the Opening Ceremony in HD and the following 16 days of competition on their networks. You can watch their coverage of the opening ceremony here. They also have an index of what events are being streamed live here. They also include mobile apps for those on the go for:
Here is a screen shot of CBC’s early coverage of the Opening Ceremony which I was able to access from the UK thanks to my VPN provider Private Internet Access
Access to the PIA VPN is very cheap and they have servers in most countries that you could want, giving you access to not only other countries coverage of the games in Sochi, but also access to restricted sites like Hulu or the BBC’s iPlayer any time you want, bypassing their geographic blocks. If you tend to use P2P for torrenting, then using a VPN like PIA is advisable for anonymity purposes as well as general security.
For those in the UK, you get to watch the BBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony as well as the full 16 days of competition. Coverage of the Ceremony itself kicks off at 16:14hrs on the BBC, which you can view here. For UK viewers who wish to watch the Olympic using the free TVCatchup service, which boasts 60 different UK channels to view as well. If you are wishing to access the BBC or TVCatchup from outside the UK, then I would suggest a VPN like CactusVPN or Private Internet Access, as both are cheap to use and don’t limit your speeds. If you are interested I have written a review for CactusVPN here and a review for PIA here.
Note that CactusVPN has US/UK and Netherlands servers, so people wishing to access Canada’s coverage of the Olympic Games this year should use Private Internet Access instead as they have servers in Canada to which you can connect.
Screen shot showing BBC’s coverage of Opening Ceremony
Screen shot showing TVCatchup’s BBC coverage of games
Below is an image showing some of various broadcasts for the 2014 Winter Olympics for different countries. As you can see, Canada has been covering quite a bit.
Hope this helps, and enjoy the games.
[Update] Thankfully for those who may have missed the opening ceremony, someone has managed to put over an hours worth of the ceromony on YouTube for other people to view, in 1080p:-
Here is a description of the video:-
Athletes of the world officially invited to Sochi 2014 with one year to go
At a ceremony today marking one year to go until the start of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge officially invited the world’s National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and their athletes to take part in the Games.
During the event, President Rogge personally delivered invitations to representatives of the NOCs from the host countries of the previous, next and future editions of the Olympic Winter Games (Canada, Russia and South Korea, respectively), in addition to the NOC of the host country of the next Summer Olympic Games (Brazil). All other invitations will be sent by post from the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The ceremony took place at the Bolshoi Ice Palace in Sochi and was attended by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Killy, IOC members in Russia Vitaly Smirnov, Shamil Tarpishev and Alexander Popov, and the President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko.
Accepting the invitations from President Rogge were Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut, Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman, the Chairman of the Korean Olympic Committee’s International Commission, Ji Young Kim, and Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov.
“A year before the start of an Olympic Games is traditionally the time we invite the athletes of the world to take part in the Games, which are a celebration of sport, peace and humanity,” said President Rogge. “These will be the first Olympic Winter Games to be held in Russia, and the Russians are eager to welcome the world to the shores of the Black Sea and the mountains of the Caucasus. A spectacular setting with equally impressive venues await those who qualify — the perfect platform on which to compete. I wish all the athletes hoping to compete here next February all the best in their preparations.”
Sochi 2014 Organising Committee President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko said, “Today is a milestone day for us. In just one year’s time we will invite the whole world to Sochi and we are eager to help every guest enjoy the best winter Games in history. I believe we are pretty much where we should be at this point in time. All sports venues in the Mountain and Coastal Clusters are almost ready, and the volunteer selection process for the Sochi Games is approaching the finish line. But now is the time for us to really concentrate and to do our best during this final stage before the Games. We need to make sure that every single aspect of our preparations is aligned as we get ready for this historic event. That is why the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee has already moved into full ‘Olympic mode’ by starting large-scale operational testing of the sports venues. We recognise that it will be vital to ensure that we have perfected all the services that we will deliver for the Games.”
The ceremony, which was covered by media from around the world, featured an ice dancing performance directed by Salt Lake 2002 silver medallist Ilya Averbukh and featured a number of Russia’s most well known figure skating stars such as Irina Slutskaya, Tatiana Navka, Roman Kostomarov, Alexej Yagudin, Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin. The show brought together over 300 participants and told the story of the preparations for the Sochi 2014 Games from the moment the city was elected in 2007 to today. The celebration concluded with a spectacular firework display.